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Oliver v. Lyft, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Georgia

June 4, 2019

ANTHONY OLIVER, Plaintiff,
v.
LYFT, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER RE MOTIONS TO TRANSFER, STAY, AND BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL, AND ORDER VACATING HEARING

          WILLIAM ALSUP, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         In this putative TCPA class action, defendant moves to transfer venue to the Southern District of Georgia. Plaintiff moves to stay the action. Plaintiff's counsel moves to be relieved as counsel. For the reasons stated below, the motion to transfer is Granted, the motion to stay is Denied without prejudice, and the motion to be relieved as counsel is Granted. The hearing is Vacated.

         STATEMENT

         This action is one of several lawsuits brought by plaintiff Anthony Oliver against defendant Lyft, Inc., a corporation based in this district (Dkt. No. 12, Exhs. D-E). Notably, this district recently transferred two of plaintiff's lawsuits against defendant to the Southern District of Georgia (ibid.). Plaintiff dismissed one of these actions upon transfer, and the other is pending (Dkt. No. 12, Exh. M). Plaintiff returns to this district with the instant case, alleging that Lyft, in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, sent unauthorized text messages to his phone and the phones of other Lyft users (Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 4).

         While residing in Chatham County, Georgia, plaintiff worked as a Lyft driver until October 2018 (Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 15). As a Lyft driver, plaintiff received texts regarding “local Lyft sponsored events and other messages promoting Lyft's mobile application” (ibid.). After his termination, plaintiff continued to receive promotional texts from Lyft, despite allegedly revoking consent to receive communications from defendant (Dkt. No. 19-2 at 2). As such, plaintiff contends that the texts sent after October 2018 violate the TCPA. He subsequently filed suit in this district.[*]

         Plaintiff is currently being held in the Chatham County Jail without bond or a pending court date (Dkt. No. 19-2 at 1).

         Defendant moves to transfer venue to the Southern District of Georgia under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) (Dkt. No. 12). Plaintiff moves to stay the action for five months, pending the resolution of a criminal proceeding against him (Dkt. No. 14 at 4). Plaintiff's counsel moves to be relieved as counsel (Dkt. No. 17). This order follows full briefing. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), this order finds the pending motions suitable for submission without oral argument and hereby Vacates the hearing scheduled for June 6.

         ANALYSIS

         1. Requests for Judicial Notice.

         A court may take judicial notice of any fact “not subject to reasonable dispute because it . . . can be accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.” FRE 201(b)(2).

         Here, Lyft filed two separate requests for judicial notice. The requests for judicial notice are Granted in part and Denied in part.

         A. Request for Judicial Notice in Motion to Transfer.

         In the motion to transfer, Lyft includes twenty-one exhibits to be judicially noticed (Dkt. No. 12, Exhs. A-U).

         Exhibit A is an order from the Central District of California that declares plaintiff a vexatious litigant. Exhibit C is an order from the Southern District of Georgia imposing pre-filing conditions on plaintiff. Exhibits D and E are orders from this district that transfer other actions between plaintiff and defendant to the Southern District of Georgia. Exhibit M is plaintiff's notice of dismissal of one such action against Lyft. Exhibit U depicts caseload statistics in this district and the Southern District of Georgia. The request for judicial notice as to Exhibits A, C, D, E, M, and U is Granted.

         Exhibits B and F pertain to various orders and motions from actions that plaintiff filed in the past. Exhibit G depicts that plaintiff was booked by the Chatham County Jail. Exhibits H-L, Exhibit N, and Exhibits Q-T pertain to more orders and motions from this district and the Southern District of Geogia in actions in which both plaintiff and defendant are parties. Exhibit O is a duplicate of Exhibit E. Exhibit P is a copy of Lyft's Terms of Service. These exhibits are not necessary for resolving the motion to transfer venue, so the request for judicial notice as to Exhibits B, F, G-L, N, O-P, and Q-T is Denied as moot.

         B. Request for ...


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